The Uruk Countryside: The Natural Setting of Urban Societies. Robert McC Adams, Hans J. Nissen.

The Uruk Countryside: The Natural Setting of Urban Societies

University of Chicago Press. 8.5 x 11", x, 241 pp., profusely illustrated with line drawings, appendix, index, Chronological Summary of Development in the Uruk/Warka Regions on endpapers, cloth, d.j., Chicago, 1972. (o.p.; sl wear to d.j., text near fine). Item #34942
ISBN: 0226005003

The city of Uruk was one of the earliest, largest and most important in ancient southern Mesopotamia, where urban civilization made its first appearance. Today Urak is a heap of ruins covering almost two square miles of Iraqi desert, and is known primarily from historical, literary, administrative and commercial texts and from decades of German excavations.

The Uruk Countryside is concerned with the conditions accompanying the first explosion of urban life of which Uruk is a prime example. By studying the findings of systematic archaeological surface reconnaissance and studies of hydrology and ecology, it provides an analysis of the changing patterns of rural settlement and irrigation agriculture that produced and sustained the city.

In developing their unique, many-sided ecological approach, the authors use some of the formal techniques of locational geography and plant ecology to understand trends in late prehistoric human settlement. The account covers more than seven millenia, but focuses particularly on the vital period of perhaps five hundred years of craetivity and growth leading to the most extensive occupation of the city at about 3000 B.C.

The book features exhaustive illustrations of surface collections from late prehistoric sites, around whose dating much of the analysis turns. The datable pottery and other artifacts that are catalogued increase by several times what is currently available in publications of excavations at Uruk, Ur and other sites in the region. There is also a full discussion of the historical geography of the region in the late third and early second millenia B.C., based on voluminous textual sources.

Out of stock